Thus far, the first half of the House cycle has been spent on breaking away from the collective and forming our own personal identities. In the 1st House we left our mother's body and became a separate individual, and our path to defining our separateness was set. In the 7th we pivot and start going the other way, back toward our eventually reuniting with the collective. Now we are leaving our individual identities behind to enter a relationship, forming a joint, united, combined identity with another person.
In many cultures, this first step out of adolescence and into adulthood coincides with marriage, or the formation of a serious romantic partnership. Young men courted young women, their families spoke to one another, and a wedding was announced. The daughter maybe given away to her new husband's family to live with them, or the newly wed couple would leave and build a home of their own. As a symbolic gesture in some places, she would replace her family surname with her new husband's name - literally leaving behind her old identity in favour of this new, shared one. No matter the place or period, the result was the same. No longer were these two seen as two separate people, but as a single married couple at the head of their own household.
IF YOUR CHART WERE AN ACTUAL HOUSE
The 7th House would be the lovers living inside the home. It would be the love they share, their wedding photos, their names on the title together. Late night phone calls, cuddles on the couch, morning coffee at the breakfast table - but also cold shoulders in bed, banging on the bathroom door, and fighting over the children. This House represents the myriad of similarities and differences that bring them together and drive them apart on a daily basis. Relationships are a constant cycle between intimacy and distance, autonomy and dependence, and the hot-and-cold climate can be felt throughout the home.
DOMAIN OF THE 7th HOUSE
Relationships (courtship, dating) and marriage (weddings, spousal unions)
Taking your partner's surname
Partnerships (best friends, collaborator, business partner) and the kinds of partners you attract
The "Other", or what is not a part of your identity
The "Shadow Side"; aspects of yourself you despise in others, which you are unaware of existing in yourself
Author's Note: In the following sections, I frequently mention that you would be attracted to partners who have your 7th House planets "prominently placed" within their own charts. By this I mean they likely have these planets in their 1st or 10th Houses, in their Ruled or Exalted positions, conjunct the Sun or Moon, or in some other major aspect.
PLANETS IN THE SEVENTH HOUSE
The Sun is not exceptionally powerful when in this placement. As it sets and dissolves into the horizon, it loses power and gives its light away to the darkness of the night. Likewise, you discover your own truths, powers, and purposes through your relationships with others, romantic or otherwise. It seems like your own personality becomes clearer, more complete, when it is contrasted with other personalities. By looking into all avenues of human affairs – love, business, art, stories, history, politics, philosophy, psychology, culture, religion, social issues, and even the lives of celebrities – you become enlightened to parts of yourself you otherwise would not have known about. But are you discovering your own identity, or modeling it off of what you’ve learned? The lines here are fuzzy.
Romantic relationships take center stage in your life, although friendships and joint partnerships are also important and influential. The desire to be with someone else, to share a joint identity as a couple, runs strong. You are lucky because you are so popular. You know how to attract people with charm and diplomacy, and you are well-liked as a result. Marriage and partnerships are said to bring you a plethora of material and social benefits, especially if you marry into money or status. A social artist, between people you promote what is known in the art world as the Principles of Design: balance, contrast, harmony, unity, as well as peace, love, and beauty. Looking at your beliefs as one does a painting in an art gallery, it is no wonder that you find yourself with a small following of fans bathing in the warmth you give away. But you routinely place other people and their needs high above your own. You are sensitive to criticism, fearful of rejection, and you go to great lengths to avoid hurting other people’s feelings. You subtly try to dominate and manipulate your partners instead, and problems arise from your reluctance to assert yourself.
You do not see yourself as highly emotional, moody, irrational, temperamental, or unstable. You do not see your moods swing negatively towards anger or sadness, and you do not readily recognize anything rattling inside your deeper subconscious mind. When you see others with these traits you find them infuriating. (“What you hate most in others you will find in yourself” is relevant here.) Yet you also deny the positive aspects of the Moon too, falling in love with sensitivity. You are likely to have seen your own mother (or nurturing figure) as highly relationship-oriented, and perhaps seek a partner to give you the same level of comfort. The Moon here sees marriage traditionally linked with home and family, and often looks to link romantic love with care-taking.
Because you deny your inner emotional self, you encounter it often in the people you choose to have relationships with. You are drawn to Cancer and Taurus types, or those who have the Moon prominently placed in their natal chart. Cancer is more emotional, sensitive, moody, and psychic. This sign is the maternal caregiver, the cook, the domestic lover who serves up the comforts of home and family. Taurus is less changeable and more consistent, stable, and dependable, as they are stubbornly set in their ways. They are the rock that offers refuge in the stormy emotional seas other get caught in. Each of these signs is traditional, old-fashioned, homebodies that stick to the safe and the familiar. Both are gentle and patient signs; they slip slowly into any kind of love affair but insist on staying there once settled with a partner. Neither has any difficulty securing a lover, as both are sensually seductive. Trouble finds them when they tenaciously cling to old loves they have long outgrown. Jealousy, possessiveness, Cancer insecurity and Taurus obstinacy can make them unbearable. Yet they are also your greatest sources of comfort and stability, and their loyalty is legendary. They know how to make you feel safe and taken care of.
You do not see yourself as easily bored, highly sociable, fickle, or changeable. You may not want to admit to yourself that you possess the more negative qualities of this planet, which is why you denied its existence in the first place. You may not like people who dominate conversations with their own thoughts and opinions, who talk too much, who bounce from one thing to the next out of boredom and a short attention span. But you are drawn to people who are all of these things, and through these relationships you are reunited with that which you denied existed in yourself. Through these types of people your Mercurial qualities are brought to the fore where you can view and acknowledge them first hand (whether you like to see them or not). You cannot deny that you seek out others who possess the positive traits of Mercury as well: a quick wit and an active mind with whom to discuss the nature of this world.
Since you encounter Mercury in the relationships you have with other people, you are drawn to Virgo and Gemini types or those who have Mercury prominently placed in their own natal charts. These are the most communicative of people. As Howard Sasportas put it, “The Gemini side to Mercury is clever at piecing bits of information together and relating different aspects of life to one another; Virgo, on the other hand, dissects and pulls things apart, analysing each component in detail.” Gemini is the more sociable, clever, witty, and talkative one. They get bored easily so they fly from one group or one partner to the next, always looking for new and exciting people to talk to. Virgo, on the other hand, is the more critical, analytical, realistic, and practical one. They plan everything, organize their lives well and are utterly domestic in their loyalty. Both signs are highly intelligent, insatiably curious, utterly rational, and both offer an irrefutably correct wealth of information. But both also struggle with the more emotional side of their relationships. Your partners may be tricky to understand because they do not fully comprehend themselves in this way. Virgo is repressed and Gemini is detached. Yet the intellectual compatibility between you is unmistakable.
This is an especially harmonious placement for Venus. Venus is the part of your personality involved in love, beauty, pleasure, harmony, and all the things that make up pleasant social relationships. Put these two together and you have the planet of relationships working inside the sphere of relationships, and the two energies are completely united. You have very strong forces inside of you that guide you into finding love. You may be pulled to a romantic affair with a spouse, or it may be close, compatible friendships instead. It may be business partnerships where you work with another person. Or it could be an unfortunate affinity with “open enemies”, those you do not like but associate with anyway. In any case you exercise tact and diplomacy, bringing gifts of beauty and harmony into those bonds you create. You want your relationships to be decorated and pleasant. You may sacrifice some degree of your own comfort so that there is no fighting, going so far as to be all-too accommodating despite your unhappiness. But if that is the only price you pay for harmony within a group, you are willing to pay it.
Although a strong placement, you are largely disconnected from your feminine traits. Our culture teaches us first what is feminine: beauty, needing to be in a loving relationship, being sensitive and receptive to other people’s feelings, cooperating with others, and the vanity of indulgences. It then teaches us that these things are all signs of weakness and that we should strive to be stronger, more masculine. The qualities described in your Venus sign may sound incorrect, like that is not you at all. You do not identify yourself as very “girly”, nor do you believe yourself to embody any Venusian traits. Perhaps you were like that as a child, but as you’ve grown older you’ve abandoned your femininity. And yet, if you look closer, you will find that you are continually encountering very feminine people in all of your relationships. Why is that?
Since it is in a weakened state, this is not a very good placement for Mars. You do not believe you are dominant, but prefer to submissively allow others to make decisions for you and lead the way. You do not think you are forceful, selfish, self-centered, or arrogant; you are always considerate of others, and you would never put your own opinions or desires before that of somebody else. And you are absolutely not aggressive! You hardly even admit to being angry, let alone yell and scream at somebody else. Mars appears to be completely absent from your personality. If you are a woman, you are likely to grow into a girly-girl, even if you were a tomboy in youth. And if you are a man, you may struggle with keeping up the charade of being “manly” when you have a hard time imagining yourself acting like a caveman.
Though you lack Mars energy inside of your own personality, you encounter it often in the relationships and partners you find yourself in. You fall in love at first sight. Your relationships are very sexual in nature, as your learn about and explore this part of your personality through a union with someone else. Yet they are also very passionate, very push-pull, and frequently involve a lot of fighting. At first it may be your partners who don their armor and attack you, manipulate you, dominate you, and engage in outside affairs. There will be challenges; you may even encounter physical and emotional abusers. But after a time you will begin to fight them back and enforce your own will, demanding equality and respect. Over time you get more comfortable doing things for yourself without feeling selfish or guilty. This is the area of life in which you will discover your own hidden, unrealized potential for strength, and this is where you will need it.
This is wonderful placement for someone who wants to marry and start a family with the person they love. You aren’t just looking for casual sex or fleeting love affairs. You are looking for a partner you can settle down and grow old with. When choosing the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you look for someone who would make a great parent: good with kids, supportive, loving, and responsible. You may reflect on more traditional styles of marriage reminiscent of 1950s glamour. The life where one of you cooks and cleans while the other works and provides for the family seems to fit the bill. There are a lot of down-home comforts in this ideal: homemade baking, farm fresh foods, clean and comfortable household, well-behaved children; the simple thrill of hearing them come home after work when dinner's almost ready, or the moment when you both look at your newborn child for the first time. Raising children into teenagers, then watching them grow up and leave, and having the house to yourselves once more. For these reasons, the partners that you look for are likely to have planets in Cancer or Virgo, or to have Ceres prominently placed in their own natal chart.
A relationship with a Cancer is very domestic. These are the kinds of lovers who want to cling to you and hide away at home, perhaps cuddling in bed or watching movies together. For a night out you might grab some gourmet comfort food and casually stroll around together. A relationship with a Virgo is much the same. But a Virgo will be more dutiful in love, seeing the partnership almost as if it is a series of tasks to be completed. In true Virgo style they are picky and withdrawn to begin with to protect their secretly dewy hearts from falling for the wrong person. But once they warm up their formally cold, impersonal exterior, you discover a tender-hearted lover desperate for others to like them. You gush over how they “take care of you” and how important and loved you feel. On both cases the relationship builds slowly on a foundation of trust, loyalty, and caution; once these people let their guard down and fall in love, they expect it to be forever. Even when a relationship is no good they cling to their partner desperately, still loyal and doting as ever, but far more jealous and insecure. These people are the types to build a life seriously and do not want flirty flings – which is exactly why they are the right kinds of people for you.
With Jupiter here you seem to be missing a dramatic, entertaining, hedonistic personality that is constantly expanding beyond its limits. On the one hand you reject any notion that you are selfishly indulgent or in possession of destructive hedonistic tendencies. You do not see yourself as spiritual, philosophical, or in possession of any great wisdom. These are qualities which you reject in yourself and despise in other people. But at the same time you do not view yourself as the more positive aspects of Jupiter either. You do not see yourself as an entertainer, as generous, optimistic, lucky, or a wise and enlightened teacher. These are qualities which you covet and are attracted to in others. It comes as no surprise, then, that you are reunited with Jupiter’s traits through the relationships you have with other people. Feeling as though Jupiter is missing from your own personality, you are attracted to those who exhibit strong qualities of this planet. In this way you are confronted with that which you hate hiding in yourself, but also that which you need to develop.
In this way, you are drawn to Sagittarius or Pisces types or anybody with Jupiter prominently placed in their natal chart. Sagittarius is independent, freedom-loving, optimistic, and very open-minded. You fall in love with their buoyant energy and their humour, as most others do. But do not expect that they can be held to you by love alone! They famously blur the lines between love and friendship, and even when you are together they will not let emotional ties damper their freedom. Pisces, on the other hand, is totally immersed in love. They are compassionate, empathetic to the point of being psychic, and more sensitive than Sagittarius is. In a relationship they are completely consumed by their emotions. Both signs embody the expansive, dramatic, spiritual, and philosophical sides of this planet. They each want to be students and teachers of wisdom. Sagittarius believes wisdom to be found as they wander freely from culture to culture and learn more about the world, while Pisces becomes wiser by becoming deeply emotionally bound to other people. Neither of them is easy to pin down or define as their hearts seem to be impenetrable – Sagittarius because they run off before getting too close, and Pisces because of how much they keep a secret.
When you were a child you saw many hardships and difficulties in your parents’ marriage. As we all grow up to model our own relationships with partners after our parents’ relationship, you came to expect these traumas to be present in every affair you were to encounter throughout your life. In many instances, exact same situations may arise again in your adult love life as you saw in your childhood. It is almost as if you were dating the spitting image of your mother or your father. On top of this fact, as a child you reached out to a parent in open and vulnerable trust and were hurt by their rejection in return. Earlier than most you learned that opening yourself up to a person and trying to get in touch with them on a primal, needy, emotional level only resulted in you getting intimately hurt. This fear then colours your whole relational life, from love to business partnerships to best friendships. You know it is easier to shut people out than it is to let your heart get mauled again. Combined with what you witnessed go down between your parents, and your outlook on close loving relationships becomes dim.
Removing Saturn’s qualities from your own identity, you are fated to encounter them in the relationships you form with others. You are attracted to Capricorn and Aquarius types, or those who have a strong Saturn placement in their own natal chart. Capricorn can be the strong, stable, paternal caretaker you are looking for. Their goal-oriented, accomplishment-driven, hard-working personalities guarantee that you can build a home and a profitable future together. Aquarius is different, more sporadic and creative, but they are likewise hardworking and set in their ways. They offer you strength and cool, rational judgement, and their share of intelligence. Between these two signs it is easy for you to fall into a passionless affair that is nonetheless safe and secure. But the controlling behaviour of Capricorn or the intellectual superiority of Aquarius can make you feel stuck in an unhappy relationship. Your love affairs go through periods of stagnation because your partner is emotionally and sexually restrained. Self-contained and focused on enhancing their outside lives, they do not allow you to penetrate into more intimate areas of their hearts. Both of you end up feeling lonely together, with neither aware of the other’s inner emotional world.
If we look at Chiron as a kind of illness, we can analyze its symptoms as we would with a real sickness. Serial monogamy often takes place with this placement. You jump from one committed relationship to the next with little time alone in between. Your relationships (romantic or otherwise) are complex, emotionally draining, disastrous, hurtful, harmful – the simple word “painful” can accurately describe the partnerships you find yourself in, over and over and over again. You experience intense frustration when the idolized image of love and romance you carry does not match the reality of your relationships. But despite the poor quality of your relationships you use them to stave off your loneliness because being miserable is still better than being alone. Ultimately these disasters end in divorce or break up, in which case you jump into another relationship shortly after. A notable exception would be if you found yourself in a wonderful romance, only to have your relationship rocked by hardship and ultimately ending in tragedy. In either case, Chiron’s meaning is clear: your wound, the source of your suffering, is in the 7th House of Partnerships.
So why must you encounter such painful experiences whenever you try to find love and close friendship? Part of the answer lies in the kinds of partners you routinely find yourself with and why you are drawn to those particular people. Planets that are found in the 7th House are pieces of your personality that you disassociate with. You do not own them, you do not identify with them, and you remain completely detached from that part of you. You are drawn to outsiders who are practically the living embodiment of that planet. Forming relationships with someone with Chiron prominently placed unites you with that lost part of yourself, forcing you to confront it through an outside relationship. Your chosen partners tend to be very insecure. They are erratically emotional, commonly sad, and fragmented individuals. Afraid of rejection, disempowered, wounded, suffering, and living in absolute misery, they bring all these problems into the torrid affairs you find yourself in and then leave you a little more broken than you were before. These people are Chiron incarnate. And you are drawn to them because they connect you to all the sadder parts of yourself, thereby allowing you to encounter what you cannot interact with in your own personality.
You do not personally identify with the qualities of Uranus. Reading the astrological description of this planet you feel like it is a piece of your personality that you are missing. You deny that you are unpredictable, eccentric, erratic, or spontaneous. Rebelliousness does not live in you. And you are certainly not crazy! These are negative qualities of Uranus that you reject and do not want to be associated with. And yet you also feel that you are not innovative, inventive, or a genius. You are not independent, individualistic, or unique either. These are the more positive aspects of this planet that you admire in others but often lack yourself. Out of touch with your own restlessness, you are attracted to others who act out the Uranus archetype for you. Therefore, you are drawn to others who have the qualities you feel that you do not have, uniting you once more with the energy hidden inside of yourself. It is through these unusual people you are confronted with your own denied inner instability and individuality. Only once you get in touch with your own Uranus qualities, admit that they exist within you, and then accept them that you begin to have healthy relationships. Until then this planet, unrecognized and immature, runs rampant throughout all of your partnerships.
You are reunited with the sporadic energies of this planet through the relationships you have with other people. Since Uranus is placed inside your 7th House, you are likely to get into relationships with Gemini or Aquarius types, or people who have Uranus prominently placed in their own chart. These two signs have many things in common. Gemini is witty and charming and will shake up your life in exciting ways. Aquarius is eccentric and unconventional and is sure to stand out from the crowd. Each of these signs is highly intelligent. Both like to run from one partner to another and host varied affairs, due in equal parts to loneliness, boredom, and a fear of emotional closeness. On the outside they flit from one social circle to the next, talking and flirting, highly spirited individuals as they are. They spend time with one partner and then move onto the next, and always seem to be surrounded by friends. But past the surface veil of simple curiosity it is obvious that they hunger for affection and attention. You seem to choose partners who have difficulties with intimacy or exclusive commitments and who do not have a very good grasp of human emotions. Sexually dynamic and personally exciting as they may be, the relationship itself is seldom stable.
Neptune here indicates that you do not believe you are delusional, confusing, idealistic, susceptible to addiction, or escapist. Those are characteristics that irritate you in other people that you would rather not be known by. But in removing those negative qualities you also remove the positive: compassionate, empathetic, sensitive, spiritual, imaginative, and creative. These are qualities you do not own which you seek in lovers and partners alike. For all these reasons you tend to fall for artists, musicians, and spiritualists, but also for addicts and alcoholics.
The partners you choose all reflect the qualities of this planet that you deny exist within yourself. Through Pisces or Leo types (or anyone with a prominent Neptune placement) you are reunited with that which you have lost. Leos are creative, dramatic, confident, child-like, romantic, and generous people. Frequently taking center stage, they soak up the attention and affection of others like a plant takes in sunlight. One of the sexiest signs, they practically ooze with sex appeal. On the other hand there is sensitive Pisces, compassionate, empathetic, psychic, and imaginative. They are beautiful down to the soul; spiritually, they grow with every relationship. Both of these signs enchant people and possess astonishing artistic talent. They are their best when in love. But both are also out of touch with reality on the nature of relationships. Leo has delusional Hollywood expectations of what you, the partner, should be doing for them: worshipping them selflessly no matter what and constantly displaying your love with gifts, words, and affection. Pisces is no different. They are so consumed by their love that they become wholly dependent on their partner to take care of them; they seldom leave even abusive relationships, opting for escapism or martyrdom instead. Each of these signs seeks to become the child in a parent/child relationship, recreating the unbalanced selfless/selfish union where they are taken care of by a partner in exchange for nothing but love in return.
Although you remove this planet from your personality identity, you encounter it constantly in the relationships you form with others. You are attracted to Scorpio and Capricorn types, or those who have Pluto prominently placed in their natal chart. Scorpios are highly emotional, passionate, and mysterious, who draw lovers in with their sexual magnetism. The hallmark of any relationship with them is the power struggles, as they use sex, money, guilt, and aggression to gain the upper hand over their partner. They want to know all of your secrets but do not open up easily about their own inner demons. That is because under their strong, brooding exterior they happen to have a bevy of trust issues. Capricorn is more pragmatic, goal-oriented, and sensual with an eye for older, more mature lovers. In relationships they want their partner to have everything: class, wealth, sexual magnetism, an impressive career, ambition, and glamour. Yet they fluctuate between extremes of devotion and emotional withdrawal. Both are highly ambitious, possessive and jealous; combine love and sex totally; have their share of fears and emotional issues brought into their love life; and both attempt to control their relationships.
Relationships themselves can also take on the nature of Pluto, as it is through your close partnerships that you learn your biggest karmic lessons. Intimate unions with others, especially in love, transform you. Some transformations come at a cost, and can be some of the most difficult experiences of your life. Power struggles and control issues are commonplace. As is a share emotional intensity that can erupt in visceral displays of love, hatred, heated sex, and explosive arguments. Jealousy, possessiveness, and fears surrounding trust and loyalty arise due to infidelity, lies, secrets, and finances can burn you. Betrayal is one of your biggest fears – and theirs as well – and you two can become ruthless when one of you thinks that something is up. Really, what you fear is the death of the relationship. Pluto forces you to change. Fighting this change by clinging to the relationship, by becoming more demanding, more manipulative, and more controlling, will only make your troubles worse; the only answer is to allow it to destroy you, and to let it be destroyed. You may experience at least one serious break-up, spousal death, or divorce for this reason.